Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Happiness Pill

It was one of those days again. Exactly one of those days. Grey days. Blue days. Whatever they are called. Days, when i ask myself too many questions. Or may be one single question. I let the question(s) take root in my mind, become a part of my subconscious self, assimilate information and experience required to arrive at an answer...and then, answer blossoms in my mind even before i know it.

However, what i was thinking, rather, asking myself today, was both, unwelcome and perplexing. To add another word, the specific time i chose to reflect and concoct answers, also made this question ironical.

"Why do friends become so important to us in life, that after a point, it starts hurting?"
(In case the paradox is not ostensible, it is the first Sunday of August today, which the world celebrates as Friendship Day)

I woke up in the morning, and cast a half open glance at the slightly ajar door of my balcony. Hardly any light was coming in. It was dark, overcast, I could make out. I pulled my knees close to my chest, tightly wound my hands around my bosom, and gave myself the warmest hug I could, to counter the effects of the chilly air flowing into the room, and then sprang out of bed. With eye lids refusing to cooperate, i somehow managed to locate my slippers, but accidentally placed my feet on the icy floor. Within a matter of seconds, a current of chill ran up my legs, and my spine, hit my head, and culminated into a smile. The same, old, faint, silly- my favorite smile. Thus i proceeded on my 'arduous' walk to the balcony, ten heavy steps....

I collapsed on the cold balcony floor, in an attempt to embrace what nature was offering. It was colder than inside the room, so i brought myself closer together, once again pulled my knees to my chest, and started imagining the aroma of coffee beans. Had only been a second, when my 'pet' tree, right across my balcony, broke out into a dance- gracefully swaying side to side first, and then going wild, mad, to the tune of the flowing breeze. My tree was welcoming me to become a part of this private celebration of nature, whatever was left of it amid the chaos of brick and mortar which we call our 'habitat'. Having performed the invocation, my tree invited all the other trees, and birds, and clouds, and winds, and rains, to join in this mad revelry, and they all gladly acceded.

What then ensued in front of me is not in my capacity to describe. Any other person would have described it as a heavy, torrential shower. But, was it just that? There were people down in the street, scurrying in all directions to look for a shelter. Hapless people. The more fortunate of us homo sapiens were the half naked street kids, splashing in the puddles, laughing, shouting, dancing....being purified, washed clean directly by the heavens. I broke into a subtle laughter at their sight, and started enjoying the raindrops being tossed in my direction after hitting the balcony railing. I was happy. Innately happy. Infinitely happy. These weren't just rains. This was the most basic and personalized invite that the heavens sent to all of us, to, for once, abandon our synthetic existence, and befriend nature. I did.

I sent a 'thank you' in the direction of my 'pet' tree, which has been my friend ever since i shifted to my current accommodation. Initially frightened by it's eerie silhouettes in the dark of the night, it soon became my companion for the solitary moments i spent in the open, often understanding and sharing my thoughts. Today as well it was listening, as i asked myself a question, and then quickly rubbished it. This very question had caused an immeasurable disarray in my interiors about a day or two back, but today, it was inconsequential. There was a reason to it. And i want that reason to know that it was the reason for the calm and balance i expreience right now.

I met a friend yesterday. A friend, who has forever been a friend, a close friend, but separated by large distances. When i felt cold today, i remembered the warm hug my friend gave me yesterday. When the damp weather's chicanery was coercing me to become gloomy, I rememberd this friend's laughter and his concern for my happiness. When strange thoughts were complicating my routines, i rememberd his simple ways and his humble eyes. I was elated, elevated, and infinitely comforted.

At first, I could not recognize him. He appeared from amid a crowd, his bag hung over one of his shoulders. I knew he was coming, that is why i was waiting for him, yet, the first glimpse i caught of him was laced with disbelief. I was still not humble to the fact that i would, finally, be getting to spend time, in person, with him. He looked better, smarter than ever i had known him to be. He in no way looked dapper, all his charm emanating from the casual, easy way in which he carried himself. His manner was courteous, yet not even a feeble measure of formality streaked his demeanor. His smile was contagious- i call him my own brand of "happiness pill". The best thing about him- he made me feel at home.

He made me realize that dubious questions, such as the one quoted in the beginning, are nothing, but a travesty of the word 'friendship'.

Sitting diagonally across me, with a hot cup of Mocha in his hands, (and a semi alcoholic Irish Coffee in mine), he incited me into self dialogue as to why such a special friend is to be separated by such long distances. We jabbered incessantly about everything that came to mind. We took short, reflective breaks to understand and absorb the importance of the time being spent together. We gave each other little gifts, for this is the only time of the year we could meet, but those gifts in no way could amount to even an approximate measure of how loved we wanted to make each other feel. "The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people." The artist inside me was failing me. I had wanted to tell him so much more, hear so much more, share so many thoughts, tears, laughter....

Time for departure was too quick to come. I was sad. Little. I was happier to have met him. He has a little thing about him, which revives my faith in everything good and positive around me. I live for my friends; but when it starts getting too much, he inspires me to perfect the balancing act, and not sway to the extremes. The people i love, and begin to hate because of unfulfilled expectations, suddenly become blame free, and i give myself a slight rebuff for letting negativity brew in my head. The good part is, despite being benevolent and magnanimous, he never makes me feel indebted. He says its mutual, and i comfort him as much as he comforts me. I like to believe it. Its so easy to be friends this way. He holds infinite respect for me, as i for him, and while respecting each other, we learn to respect every other good thing/person in our life which deserves to be respected.

My tree still stands there. It has noticed the droplets forcing their way out of my eyes. In its reckoning, i was infinitely happy, so why the droplets? I don't know. May be i am sad for not having been able to give him a last, warm hug as he disembarked from the metro at Rajiv Chowk, and mumble an apology. May be i am happy (mushy-happy), and i have been happy for so long that it can no  longer be contained inside me. May be i am both. One thing for certain- this friend will remain with me, even when that tree dies down. If ever he goes away, I will understand that there must be a reason for it. This season, and the next, and the next...i'll remember to smile whenever the rain fed weather's beauty is beyond description, for it is on one such day, i spent the most marvellous moments of my life with you.

Keep my faith breathing....


  1. hey saumya its beautifully written.......u've put ur thoughts so vividly on paper it seems i'm sitting besides u in that balcony and living all the emotions u r experiencing.....that tree seems to be quite lucky.....well while reading it.....i felt i was that tree.....a silent and mute spectator

  2. Aww vrinda. Thanks. It's a beautiful comment you have left for me. This is one reason i don't feel guilty even after i literally coerce you into reading my blog. I reiterate, I am addicted to your comments, and you better keep them pouring in....I'll try and keep writing good stuff....

    Love you!

  3. boss maan na padega tujhe..hw do u write it..
    hey i want d 1st copy of d novel whch u'l b writin wid ur autograph..i knw u r capable of writin thm...jaldi likho..waitin 4 it. cr..

  4. Wow Saumya! I read ur blog after a long time.. It made me realise the importance of the question quoted in the beginning.. beautifully written.. It's beautiful how ur able to pen down complicated emotions in the simplest manner :)

  5. @ AYUSH

    Thanks bhai....i love your totally love what you have commented..if i find a good enough plot..i will definitely write a novel...but....that time is still far away...thanks..i am super happy...and i remember tht i have to write one blog for you also..when time is fit...i will do that... for sure...

  6. @ MAHIMA

    Your comment has come as a really pleasant surprise for me. Like, i am feeling soooo happy...because, i usually bribe my friends to comment.. ;) .... this is all what i feel..and i feel really its easy to keep reading...and i will keep writing good stuff...plz follow the blog if u already are not...

  7. Anshul Juneja wrote...
    "di u r too good 4 this .may be in coming years we will like to read a book written by saumya .
    keep up ur good work di"

    Pankhuri Kulshreshtha wrote...
    "an awesome piece of writing...u hv beautifully put words 2 ur thoughts..."

    Gaurav Mendiratta wrote,
    "was feeling low 2day honestly feeling better after reading dat.........thanx a ton"

  8. Hi Soumya,
    Nicely written stuff. Loved the way of your expression.


  9. @Abhishek...
    Thank you so much for your kind words...please do keep reading..

  10. wow... no words... any comment would be inadequate.... i just kept staring at the screen for minutes after i had finished reading this.... it takes time to let all of that sink in... and when it does, there is an oddly satisfying yet sad feeling in the heart......
    thanks for writing such beautiful pieces... which really satiate the reader in me...
    and yeah... i've attempted at writing a blog too.... i am very irregular... but i just write stuff spontaneously... not very good... but i wud love to get comments from u.... if u get time.... plz read it...

  11. @Sushruti
    I dunno how i missed this comment. Thanks sushruti..
    i wont write much, cuz i wanna visit ur blog and chk out wht u write... am sure u write stuff as phenomenal as u r...
    will leave a comment there

  12. Beautiful seems a small enough word to describe the way you write Saumya!!The way you write takes the reader in a world of your own! I could literally imagine the chill, the cold breeze, the rain, your meeting with your friend! and the emotions felt like splitter splatter of the rain, coming on to you, making you feel "one" with the writer...
    Loved reading as always!!:)

  13. @Akriti di

    Thanks seems a small word to reply to the wonderful comment you posted here. I am so so so so glad. You know, it was one of the most fantastic days of my life...and very personal to me...and putting everything here on pages, declaring things, hiding was not all that easy...but am glad, at the end of it all, this turned out to be a nice post. I would specially like to send a really big THANK YOU your way for taking out time and giving me two fabulous comments...

  14. Saumya--you write so lucidly.every thought expressed so well that the reader becomes a part. keep it up -- i am proud u were my student. write a novel -- waiting to get the copy!!!!!!!!

    poornima maam

  15. Thank you so much ma'am. Yours is one comment I will pride on. I really did not think anyone was serious while advising me to write a novel, but if it has come from you, trust me, I will consider it seriously, 'cuz somewhere, I wanna do it.

    All I am waiting for is that one day in life, where I am decently settled, and in a position to buy a laptop. I'll take a sabbatical, may be go to the hills, and start off.

    Please do follow my blog, and let me know how you feel reading my posts.

    Thanks again ma'am.

  16. I can see you, your balcony, the rain, the tree, even the warmth of a beautiful friendship. Your writing is not just vivid, it's also tender - like a water-colour picture on rice paper... Keep writing. I look forward to reading more.

    1. Mini, you have such a beautiful expression. Even the way you have articulated this comment, somehow it makes my whole post seem more beautiful than I ever thought it to be. Much gratitude. I think I admire you already.

    2. I've shared the link to your blog through Facebook (without your permission. Hope you don't mind...

      P.S. The admiration is mutual. :)

    3. That is incredibly sweet of you! Why on earth would I mind?

      Thanks a ton. All that goodness and sweetness in you, it is more than palpable :)

  17. "answer blossoms in my mind even before i know it." agree it does happen not only this but the most of the things that you wrote.. happens with me.. i wonder does it happen with everyone ? strange!! isn't it ?

    1. No, not strange. We are all unique individuals, but certain traits and tendencies are common to all of us. The capacity for locating answers is one such commonality, whether we exercise that capacity or not is an entirely different matter.

  18. i happened to choose this post to read and im so glad that it happened.. its 2 30 in themorning and this piece has refreshened me thouroughly.. no thanks for tat though, as i ought to be in bed... :P... but truely BEAUTIFULLY penned!! loved it. anamta

    1. Aww! You know Anamta, this is one of my favorite pieces on my blog. And I am so glad you commented here, so even I could come and read about this dear friend of mine again. Keep reading, and keep giving me your valuable feedback.